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Additional notes for newcomers.


Playing Games. - A good games machine will be at the top end of most budgets. Choose a machine with a fast processor, advanced graphics card and good amount of memory. Games tend to be very large nowadays so a large hard drive is recommended. If you want to play on-line get broadband Internet access. There are many forms of user interfaces available for games, starting with the humble mouse and keyboard through to sophisticated hand held controllers.


Computer Aided Design. Again a high specification machine is advised. CAD can do a lot of  manipulation of data so the faster the machine the better. Large screen sizes are also advised to minimise zooming and show finer detail. CAD software can be very expensive. Check Shareware versions


Programming. Most programming can be done on a reasonably low specification machine during the coding phase.. However compiling, testing and running may require a higher specification. Some programming tools will benefit from the higher specifications due to the development environment overheads. Tools for microprocessor development generally do not require high spec machines.


Graphics - Pictures, Video - Slideshows & Desktop publishing. Medium specification. These tasks can be performed on  a wide variety of machine specifications. The more powerful the machine, the less time you will spend waiting for manipulation to finish. Video work will benefit from a higher specification with a large hard drive recommended


Letter writing, hobbies, family tree’s and creating CD - DVD These tasks should be possible on all machine specifications.  These are generally low speed tasks where the computer is getting bored waiting for us to do something. Lower cost end of machine prices.


Software.

The software you choose to use for whatever tasks you wish to perform can be sourced from a wide variety of  suppliers. Commercial software will in general require you to purchase outright before you know whether it is right for your application. There are exceptions where you will be able to get trial version of earlier software releases. eg Serif. , ULEAD. who often have versions of software on magazine cover disks or download from their web site. These software suppliers generally require you to contact and register the product. You may be be contacted about upgrading to the next version, though there is no license requirement to do so. Again upgrade if you wish, or if the newer version performs additional tasks the free version does not.

Don’t forget Shareware  Try  before you Buy. Too many program types to mention here. Every subject you can think of. Hobbies, programming, CAD, Graphics. They usually have nag screens as a prompt to purchase after a trial period. However if it is not for you just uninstall and try another. Search on Net for more.

PC Notes